A common theme among Advertising Week IX goers this week has been the heightened scramble for talent that combines tech and creative savviness, as brands, agencies and other marketing firms prepare for a more widespread mobile landscape. That subject converged with the topic of multicultural marketing via multiple screens at a panel at the Liberty Theater in New York this morning.
It's difficult enough for agencies and brands to compete with startups for the brightest tech minds, marketers say—it's even harder when you're also looking for diverse talent that inherently understands African-American, Latino and Asian consumers. In short, multicultural tech recruits appear to be at a premium.
"We have a talent issue in this business," said Steven Wolfe Pereira, an evp at MediaVest. "We don't have enough talent at the top, much less the junior levels."
Joan FitzGerald, vp of TV sales and business development for comScore, also commented about the hunt for tech-educated multicultural talent during the panel. "I've called up my alma mater to tell them we need people," she said.
Agencies and digital-focused firms are not the only entities getting into the tech game at an increasing rate—brands are, too. Walmart, Coke and Mondelez International are just a few big names that are taking digital in-house and grabbing as much top-shelf tech talent along the way as they can.
Will other brands follow suit?
"I think it's a safe bet in the industry, in general," said Maria Cristina Rios, Macy's director of multicultural marketing and media strategy.